Crouse Nursing Student Hero: Life Saved by a Nurse in Training

By: Laurie Clark

Vincenzia DiglioHow many nursing students can say they’ve saved a life?

At least one who we’re proud to say is one of our own: Vincenzia Diglio, a Syracuse native and Bishop Ludden High School grad who’s a second-year student nurse in the Pomeroy College of Nursing at Crouse Hospital.

Vincenzia happened to be caring for a 91-year-old patient on our 5 South Irving unit who began exhibiting stroke-like symptoms.

“Her head was turned far to the right side of her body, with a significantly evident right-side facial droop,” recalled Vincenzia. “Her eyes were closed, and she was non-responsive to vocal and physical stimulation.”

Quick Thinking and Action
Vincenzia immediately alerted her clinical instructor, Cathie Aber. Thanks to Vincenzia’s quick thinking and intervention, the patient was brought quickly to our Neuro Interventional Suite, where she was diagnosed as having a large vessel occlusion. The clot was removed, and within two hours, the patient was relieved of her stroke symptoms and on her way to recovery.

“Vincenzia very much saved this patient’s life,” said Evan Belanger, DNP, FNP-BC, RNFA, who is Director of Neurosciences, Intensive Care, VAT, SWAT, and our Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Being a student nurse has been rewarding for Vincenzia. She says even doing the ‘smallest’ things to make patients feel better makes her feel good. “I haven’t yet processed this. But it’s an indescribable feeling to think I saved someone’s life,” she said.

PCON Pride
“On behalf of the entire college faculty and staff, we could not be more proud of Vincenzia for the awareness and swift action she displayed while caring for her patient. She used her education and clinical skills to effectively put theory to practice,” said Patty Morgan, MS, RN, dean of the Pomeroy College of Nursing.

Belanger and Morgan both acknowledged the care, compassion and critical thinking skills our student nurses bring to the hospital each day.

Students in the college complete extensive clinical hours in the hospital, of which Vincenzia says she has appreciated having the early hands-on experience with patients in the hospital that our college provides.

“I’ve had a positive experience with the staff at Crouse in the clinical setting. The nurses are willing to teach, and are accepting of having students incorporated into their day,” says “Chenzie,” as she’s known to family and friends.

Students Making a Difference
While acknowledging Vincenzia during a class via Zoom recently, Interim Chief Nursing Officer Lynne Shopiro, RN, told the students, “You make a difference. This is a great example of how you use your resources.”

Florence Nightingale once said: “The most important practical lesson that can be given to nurses is to teach them what to observe.” While Vincenzia isn’t sure where her career in nursing might lead her – she’s interested in possibly working with kids, in a trauma setting or in the OR – it’s clear she has mastered this vital lesson.

The Pomeroy College of Nursing ranks among the top nursing programs in New York State and nationwide, with NCLEX-RN success rates above the state and national averages at 90%. To learn how you could become a Crouse Nursing Student Hero, visit

Laurie Clark is the Communications and Digital Media Manager at Crouse Health.

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